WWF Clean Cookstoves

Working with Southpole to protect giant panda habitat and improve health of Central China’s mountain communities

For China’s most isolated communities, cooking and heating needs are typically met through inefficient stoves, which also expose families to toxic indoor air pollution. WWF Clean Cookstoves provide a viable and immediate solution for this problem. The wood needed for cooking and heating typically comes from nearby forests; for decades, the deep mountain communities of Shaanxi’s Ningshan County in Central China have collected their wood from the nearby Huangguanshan Nature Reserve, part of the Qinling Giant Panda conservation network, gradually degrading and encroaching on crucial giant panda habitat. We are working with Southpole to protect giant panda habitat and improve health of Central China’s mountain communities through WWF clean cookstoves.

Sustainable Development Goals

4,600 people

provided with efficient cookstoves, reducing household fuel costs and improving livelihoods

Better health

as families are less exposed to indoor air pollution

48% less time collecting firewood

a task often assigned to women

The Solution

By reconstructing or improving low-efficiency, built-in stoves, the project is creating healthier, more sustainable cooking and heating practices. The improved stoves are up to 70% more efficient, and
normally contain two or three pots so all types of traditional meals can be cooked! The stoves will be distributed throughout the towns of Huangguan, Xingchang and Simudi.

The Impact

With the highly efficient cookstoves, families use significantly less wood to cook local Shaanxi dishes, which are known for their aromatic and spicy flavours. The project promotes more sustainable resource use, easing deforestation pressures on local giant panda habitat. The new stoves also feature chimneys that filter out toxic
smoke, creating healthier kitchen environments, and the project alleviates much of the burden of wood chopping and collection. This frees up time for local residents to focus on more productive tasks, like looking after children or working for income.
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